Monday, September 07, 2009
3rd Time's The Charm: Skydiving!
I don't even know how to describe it, I'm pretty sure my brain was not keeping up with everything going on, let alone recording it for later. So I'm having a hard time laying out my thoughts for a post :)
I have a few photos - I'm in the green parachute, there are not a lot of great pics of me (I should really start travelling with a photographer), but there were 8 jumpers in our group and we went in two shifts of four, so I took some pics of the others while we were waiting our turn, and a few of them are lovely.
And for my disjointed commentary I'll just list out some of my thoughts:
1. It was a GORGEOUS day. Clear blue sky, no wind, not too hot - after being rescheduled twice for weather-related problems, we could not have asked for a better day. Check out how blue the sky is - it was BEAUTIFUL.
2. The waiver you have to sign before jumping is laughable. They make you sign that you aren't on ANY medications or suffering from ANY diseases or afflictions, have had no medication or alcohol in the past 12 hours, and that you nor your heirs will ever sue anyone even remotely related to the jump. But when you make a reservation all they tell you is to show up wearing tennis shoe and weighing under 250 lbs. Hmm. Also, interesting factoid: your insurance does NOT cover skydiving, it's a specific exemption from both life insurance and health insurance. That could be a bummer.
3. I was worried about the plane ride, and we were packed in like sardines, but it was actually really smooth. We took a nice little tour of Baldwin, Wisconsin before they opened the doors and people started rolling out. We jumped from 15,500 feet, around 3 miles up!
4. Apparently I screamed a little when we plunged out. I don't remember it, but it seems logical. My instructor had me sit on the edge of the door with my feet dangling out, and when he told me to let go of the bar and grab hold of my harness, all I could think was that my body weight would send us tumbling prematurely to our death. But I guess it didn't. :) I don't know how I let go, it was dream like at that point.
5. The initial fall is totally indescribable - I definitely had a moment of "uh oh! What did I do?" but at that point, there's nothing that can be done, you're already on your way! It's really loud and windy and fast and crazy and a lot more painful than I thought it would be - the harness circles your legs, and since my upper thighs are quite "meaty" it pinched like hell when it was actually supporting my weight. I'm pretty sure I'll have bruises. That was not something I was expecting.
6. When they pull the parachute, it's like diving under water - all of a sudden everything gets quiet and foggy and feels slow. And then they do something that drops you a few inches down below your instructor that is super scary, like you're falling out of your harness, but it's over quickly.
7. I kept thinking "I should be looking around, I should be taking this all in and remembering everything!" But I think it's all blurry already :) So if you really want to know what it was like, I guess you'll just have to go!
Bucketlist #22, Skydive - CHECK!